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Wed Nov 14, 2012, 01:52 PM

FFRF sues IRS to enforce church electioneering ban

http://ffrf.org/news/news-releases/item/16091-ffrf-sues-irs-to-enforce-church-electioneering-ban


November 14, 2012
The Freedom From Religion Foundation is taking the Internal Revenue Service to court over its failure to enforce electioneering restrictions against churches and religious organizations, calling it a violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment and of FFRF’s equal protection rights. FFRF filed the lawsuit today in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin. (View the lawsuit here.)

A widely circulated Bloomberg news article quoted Russell Renwicks, with the IRS’ Tax-Exempt and Government Entities division, saying the IRS has suspended tax audits of churches. Other sources claim the IRS hasn’t been auditing churches since 2009. (See AP Religion Writer Rachel Zoll’s story, “IRS Not Enforcing Rules on Churches and Politics.”) Although an IRS spokesman claimed Renwicks “misspoke,” there appears to be no evidence of IRS inquiries or action in the past three years.

As many as 1,500 clergy reportedly violated the electioneering restrictions on Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012, notes FFRF’s legal complaint. The complaint also references “blatantly political” full-page ads running in the three Sundays leading up to the presidential elections by the Billy Graham Evangelical Association.

FFRF, a state/church watchdog based in Madison, Wis., is asking the the federal court to enjoin IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman from continuing “a policy of non-enforcement of the electioneering restrictions against churches and religious organizations.”

more at link

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Arrow 13 replies Author Time Post
Reply FFRF sues IRS to enforce church electioneering ban (Original post)
cbayer Nov 2012 OP
ProgressiveProfessor Nov 2012 #1
cbayer Nov 2012 #2
sinkingfeeling Nov 2012 #3
cbayer Nov 2012 #4
ProgressiveProfessor Nov 2012 #5
cbayer Nov 2012 #6
ProgressiveProfessor Nov 2012 #8
cbayer Nov 2012 #9
ProgressiveProfessor Nov 2012 #10
cbayer Nov 2012 #11
skepticscott Nov 2012 #13
skepticscott Nov 2012 #12
hrmjustin Nov 2012 #7


Response to ProgressiveProfessor (Reply #1)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 01:57 PM

2. Thanks for that. That's where I first saw and a link is a great idea.

Some people tend to just hang out here and might miss it.

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Response to cbayer (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 02:05 PM

3. Good to see my donations going for a good cause.

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Response to sinkingfeeling (Reply #3)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 02:06 PM

4. Agree. This is an excellent case and I am glad they have filed it.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #4)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 02:31 PM

5. If this is successful, it will most be felt in the black churches

Many here seem to think that politics from the pulpit is a new thing from the right. Black churches have always done this, saw it with my own eyes for many years growing up.

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Response to ProgressiveProfessor (Reply #5)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 02:34 PM

6. Doesn't matter. The law either needs to be changed or enforced.

All churches need to comply. Advance political causes - ok. Advance political candidates - not ok.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #6)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 03:27 PM

8. We shall see where this goes

Black political leadership has had it roots in the church for generations. I can not see them sitting still for this.

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Response to ProgressiveProfessor (Reply #8)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 03:31 PM

9. There is no problem with the politics which are deeply embedded in the black church.

I grew up on the south side of Chicago. I saw Jesse Jackson preach repeatedly. I saw MLK preach repeatedly. I saw many, many black religious leaders preach politics.

That is legal, powerful and there is not challenge to it.

What they did not do was promote candidates. That is the problem. While there may be black churches that do this, they need to stop. It's not necessary. They are powerful without doing that.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #9)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 04:07 PM

10. I have seen many preach how to vote and for whom. A few disguised it, but rarely

YMMV but it was there full time when I was growing up.

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Response to ProgressiveProfessor (Reply #10)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 04:17 PM

11. Again, they need to stop that. There needs to be a serious educational

campaign about what they can and can't do.

There is too much at stake here and they have a lot to lose.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #11)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 08:34 PM

13. They ARE educated

every tax exempt organization is well aware of the restrictions, which aren't particularly complicated. Religion just gives people a feeling of endless privilege and entitlement, a sense that rules and laws simply don't apply where "faith" is involved.

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Response to ProgressiveProfessor (Reply #8)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 08:31 PM

12. Fine..they can not sit still for it

and they can give up their tax exemption, to which they have no fundamental right. Then let's see how far their principles hold.

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Response to cbayer (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 02:59 PM

7. good!

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